And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…
With D-Day drawing closer (by which I mean Delivery-of-baby Day, not WW2 Normandy Landings. By the by, did you know that apparently the D in D-Day doesn’t stand for anything? If anyone can correct me on this I’d be very grateful).
With D-Day drawing closer, as I said, the time seems right for a little reflection. It is, after all, a momentous occasion in a woman’s life when she gives birth. A rite of passage, a dawning of a new era, etc etc. Never again will I be Becca, mum of one, from now on I will be Becca, Supermum of two. And so on and so forth.
And yes, all of those things are true. But I’m not going to talk about that stuff today. Save it for another post – it can be a way of passing the time when the baby I am hoping will arrive early is actually three weeks late. Today I would like to, well, have a bit of a rant.
One of the most glibly untrue things you may hear when you find out you are pregnant is that you can choose where you give birth. It is your choice, they will tell you. The NHS website that gives general pregnancy information (among other things) is even called Choices. Look it up – Your Health, Your Choices, runs the tagline.
There are many long and boring examples I could give from this pregnancy as to why this is, um, misleading. I won’t go into them – if you’re desperate to hear my tales of woe email me. The most laughable of my gripes with the wonder that is the NHS is to do with basic information sharing. I have had to have regular blood tests because my thyroid levels have been totally messed up. Easy, they say. Go to your GP, they will do the test and send the specimen to the hospital. Except my hospital is outside of the Health Authority – again, there is a long and boring reason for this, but it boils down to my local hospital is a nightmare and the one I’ve chosen is less so. It’s not far away, but it does fall out of the area. So my GP practice won’t send the blood specimen to my hospital after all. They send them to a completely different one. And get this? They can’t share the results. The local hospital can’t put the results onto some kind of computer record, my chosen hospital can’t phone up to get them. In the age of technology in which we now live, I think the NHS (at least in North East England) has been left behind by about a century. On the flip side, having had the blood test and results have come through, lo and behold my thyroxine dose needs to be altered. My GP knows nothing of this so when I order a repeat prescription I get the wrong dose. Out by about 100mcg, which is a normal adult dose in itself. Communication, people?
These might seem trivial complaints, and indeed they are, you’re right. I don’t care. I’m getting to the end of the pregnancy, I reserve the right to milk my hormonal status for as long as I’ve got left. Everything would be easily sorted if I switched to my local hospital. But, besides the fact that it’s an awful place to be and I’m seriously doubtful as to whether the staff are actually on this planet, it’s a matter of principle now.
So, rant over. Tune in next time for a more mellow, happy reflection on my pregnancy, when I will appear to be the embodiment of serene motherhood. Probably.